No to NATO, War and Racism! Hands off Venezuela! Hundreds march in Washington, DC and Oakland

A broad coalition representing some 150 organizations mobilized on the weekend of March 30 to demand U.S. Hands Off Venezuela! No to NATO, War and Racism! Initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), the main demonstration took place in Washington, DC on March 30th, the Saturday before leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were to meet to “celebrate” their 70th anniversary. Other actions and anti-NATO meetings are scheduled to take place leading up to the NATO meeting on Thursday, April 4. April 4th is also the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the anniversary of his famous speech against the Vietnam War that took place at Riverside Church in New York City, exactly 1 year before his assassination. The meeting of the NATO war-makers on this date is an afront to the memory of Dr. King.

Speakers at the DC rally included Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace, Media Benjamin of Code Pink, David Swanson of World Beyond War, Cassia Laham of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), Ann Wright of Veterans for Peace and Code Pink, Loan Tran of the International Action Center, Joe Jamison of the US Peace Council, Rev. Grayland Hagler of Plymouth Cong. United Church of Christ, Margaret Flowers of Popular Resistance, Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, Representatives of the World Peace Council, No to War, No to NATO, Black is Back Coalition, Veterans for Peace as well as from Venezuela, Extinction Rebellion from Wales and others.

A large visible march made its way past crowds of people in downtown Washington, DC and past offices of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States and other targets that support US imperialism and the wars at home and abroad.

Several of the speakers had just returned from a very important peace and solidarity tour of Venezuela, which is fighting off the effects of harsh US imposed sanctions, sabotage and war threats. The delegation had the opportunity to meet with Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro who gave his full support to the rally and tweeted pictures of it to his 3.9 million twitter followers.

Maduro had made clear to the delegation just how important a strong US antiwar movement can be in staying the hand of the US and its allies as they try to dominate the world and crush any country that tries to remain independent and use its resources for the good of its own people.

Venezuela will become more and more central to the US and world antiwar movements, and we need to show steadfast solidarity with the people of Venezuela, and other countries who struggle to maintain their sovereignty and to fight against the economic wars and physical threats of the US and its NATO and other allies. The action in DC, Oakland and others that took place in Canada were an important step in that direction.

Hundreds took part in the march and rally and thousands saw us as we marched through Washington, DC but, as usual, the corporate media in the US pretended that the protest did not happen. However we made important media of our own. We were covered by some alternative media such as the Real News Network and RT and millions saw us on social media. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro tweeted picture of the protest to his 3.9 million followers. His tweet can be seen here: Also, Jorge Arreaza, Venezuelan Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs with 1.57 million followers tweeted pictures of the rally that can be found here:

Telesur, RT and TheRealNews, OrinacoTribune all did great short pieces:

Dan Cohen, Max Blumenthal, Carlos Ron, Anya Parampil all sent tweets. Max has 139K Twitter followers.

Other stories and tweets are still being sent to us.

Also there was a livesteam on Facebook that was viewed by 5.5 thousand people and shared 28 thousands time.

Thanks to the International Action Center for the livestream and compiling the coverage.

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